The long-running EclipseCon event has always been a great way for the community to come together and share in the organic, unpredictable interactions that only really happen in person. The last two years of digital events have brought the same great talks and insights as ever, but this year, we’re very pleased to bring that certain je ne sais quoi back, with face-to-face interactions.
The Eclipse Foundation’s Vice President of Ecosystem Development Gaël Blondelle sat down to explain why the return of in-person events is such good news for the community, and what there is to look forward to at this year’s event.
For the uninitiated, can you explain a little bit about what EclipseCon is?
EclipseCon is our annual event in Europe we’ve been running for the past 17 years. It’s a time and a place where the Eclipse community at large can come together to learn, share ideas, and develop personal relationships with people they maybe only know through their work or documentation.
As you would expect, many of the talks deal with the latest and greatest developments of Eclipse technologies. But many also cover topics that deal with open source in general, or other open source technologies beyond what’s hosted at the Eclipse Foundation. And we are really, really excited to be back in person.
Why is it so exciting that EclipseCon is in-person again?
The open source community is really used to working remotely and asynchronously. And that has its advantages, for sure. But meeting people in person makes a real difference to build the community.
At EclipseCon, you have a chance to take a seat next to someone you may have tried to meet for months. You get to meet people that maybe you’ve been really wanting to talk to, or even people you admire.
I would say that it’s even more important if you’re new to the community. Whether it’s for a particular project you’re contributing to or the Eclipse community in general, this is an excellent way to get closer to the community. Maybe the first time you come, you shake a few hands and meet some people, in addition to learning a lot about your preferred projects. But the second or third time, people will recognize you. They’ll be coming up to talk to you about your use case, or maybe ask for your help with something they’re working on.
Are there any particular talks you’d like to highlight?
Again this year, the program committee did a great job and I want to thank them for all the energy they put into selecting amazing talks. A few talks particularly caught my eye:
- In the domain of security and open source, “Log4J, SpringShell and all that Jazz (or why bad things can happen to good software)” by Steve Poole
- In open source governance, “A FOSS Manifesto to Drive Open Source” from Wolfgang Gehring from Mercedes-Benz Tech Innovation GmbH
- “The Eclipse Adoptium & OpenJDK Panel” by the leaders of the Adoptium project and “Optimize your applications to the max with Jakarta EE and MicroProfile” by Edwin Derks
- Open Source has arrived in Automotive! - Eclipse Automotive - Open Collaboration for the Automotive Industry by Andreas Riexinger (Robert Bosch GmbH)
- Bringing hawkBit to production by Andrea Zoleo (Kynetics), Nicola La Gloria (Kynetics)
- Sirius Web 101 : Create a Modeler With No Code by Melanie Bats (OBEO) and Theia.cloud - Running Theia-based products in the cloud by Maximilian Koegel (EclipseSource)
But there is more than just talks. With the coffee breaks and lunch breaks, nobody has to sit through hours in the same conference room. I would also like to highlight the Community Day on the first day of EclipseCon, Monday, October 24, and the Hacker Day on the last day, Thursday October 27, which features the IoT, Software Defined Vehicle, and SmartCLIDE communities. These are some of the most exciting parts of the event.
What’s special about Community Day?
The goal is to give everybody the opportunity to connect with longstanding members of the community. Unlike the rest of EclipseCon, this event is run as an unconference; it’s organized by the community, for the community. Each part of our community gets a slot and organizes it with some updates about projects or some inspiring chats.
That’s where you have the secret sauce of the community: people can freely join, discuss whatever, and brainstorm. It’s one of the moments I really appreciate. It’s a microcosm of what’s magical about these events. You can learn more in three or four days of talking to people than you could in three or four weeks of reading documentation. If you were originally planning to just come for the conference, I really encourage you to check it out.